How to do an at Home Manicure

May 4, 2020

All nail salons are closed and I would say majority of us are struggling. Personally, I am a religious nail salon customer.  I have my appointment scheduled every 3 weeks and with the same girl.  To be honest, I get the same color every time too.

I find sitting at the nail salon relaxing. It is my me time. I can’t be on my phone. I get to just forget about everything else and sit still for 45 minutes. Since that is all gone right now, we have to improvise. I have been getting my nails done for so long, that I have the steps down perfectly! I trust that if you follow these steps, you give yourself a beautiful at home manicure.

Before we even get into the steps, we have to gather our supplies.  The priorities will be a nail polish remover, a nail file, a pointed tool (toothpick, q-tip, or metal scraper for nails), your colored polish, and a top coat polish.


Step 1: Clean the Nails

Grab a nail brush or a wash cloth.  Get it damp under warm water and scrub your nails. I love to use a nail brush. You can also grab a pointed tool and run it under your nails to get rid of anything that has collected at this time. We want to make sure we are starting with clean hands. If you have nail polish on, you need to take that off now (if that isn’t obvious).

Step 2: Soak the Nails

Close the drain on your sink and fill it with warm water. Set your fingers in there for about 3 minutes.  We are just softening the skin around your nails. If you would rather use a smaller bowl, you can do that too.  I just find the sink much easier and it is one less thing to clean up.


Step 3: Cuticle Clean Up

This step is tricky. If you don’t have the proper tools, you can skip it. It isn’t essential and you need to be careful. If you would like to clean up your cuticles, you will need a metal cuticle pusher and a cuticle clippers.  Gently push from the middle of your nail towards your cuticle.  Your cuticle will turn white and build up at the top.  Once you have all of the cuticles pushed, make sure they are soft again by getting the wet.  Then, you can take your cuticle cutter and be extremely careful!

Don’t have a cuticle clippers? Just grab a nail file block, take a corner of the block and rub it on your cuticles! This will take the cuticle right off of your nail.


Step 4: Cut and Shape the Nails

Grab a nail cutters and start there! You will want to trim your nails down before you spend time shaping.  Once your nails are cut down to the proper length, then you can shape. I like to turn my hand into a fist, then turn my fingers up to start filling. You can see the picture above for reference.  I go very slowly, starting at the center, then working the file around to each corner.

Step 5: Prep the Nail Bed

Before painting your nails, you want to make sure your nail bed is really clean, so the polish has a strong surface to bind to.  I will take a nail file and lightly brush my nail bed with it. I will also take nail polish remover on a cotton pad and wipe each nail down again. This will help clean anything off of the nail that could be left over from shaping your nails.

Step 6: Paint Nails with Desired Color

Seems simple, right? Well, we all know it isn’t! Take your time. Start the brush away from the cuticle and then push towards the cuticle.  This will give you a give you a clean line by the cuticle, then pull down your nail.  Continue around your nails.  Do at least 2 coats, maybe even 3, depending on how your color is turning out.

Step 7: Paint with Top Coat

Let your nails set for 3-5 minutes, then follow up with one layer of top coat.


Step 8: Dry Nails for 10 Minutes

Sit still.  This will make a huge difference if you can just sit still for 10 minutes and let your nails fully dry.  Try to avoid putting a high speed fan too.  That will deceive you and only dry the top layer.

Step 9: Moisturize

Once you nails are fully dry, take your favorite cuticle oil and lotion to your hands.  Deeply moisturize them.  Take a cotton ball and wipe and extra lotion off of your nail polish to help your nails shine!


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What are your at home manicure tips? My process isn’t perfect, but it gets the job done! I would love to hear yours.

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